Strong numbers in March continued a 5 month streak of year-over-year import growth in Japan. Japanese imports were valued at $68 billion dollars last month, a 5.6 percent increase over the $64.4 billion traded in March 2012. However, this year-over-year increase was just half the rate of growth compared to February 2012-2013 (12%). Import value was up 9.4 percent between February and March.
Japanese exports had a good showing as well in March totaling $64.2 billion, an increase of a nearly a percentage point from last year. The month-to-month between February and March showed stronger data, with exports surging 18.7 percent. With the Bank of Japan purchasing government bonds and assets, there is good expectation that exports with be growing exponentially in the months ahead as inflation kicks in.